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Net sales for the quarter were $368,203,000, up 1.8% compared with $361,542,000 in the same period a year ago. Net income for the quarter increased 62% to $4,383,000 from $2,707,000 last year. Earnings per share increased by 64% to $0.23 from $0.14 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2002.
For the nine months ended March 31, 2003, sales increased 1.4% to $1,091,929,000 from $1,077,082,000 in the same period last year. Net income was $12,148,000 or $0.63 per share versus a loss of $(1,586,000) or $(0.09) per share last year. The prior year's nine- month earnings included the effect of a non-cash charge of $12,100,000 after tax, or $0.63 per share, for impaired goodwill (resulting from the initial application of SFAS 142) associated with the company's fluid power business.
Commenting on results, Applied Chairman & CEO, David L. Pugh said, "While sales growth continues to be restrained in a weak economy, we are seeing positive results in our efforts to improve profit margins. Gross profit margin for the third quarter was 26.5%, an improvement of about 90 basis points over our second quarter result. Our gross profit improvement was driven by a broad range of management actions that included enhanced supply chain management resulting in improved vendor rebates, improved recovery of freight costs and a more favorable mix of sales.